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40 Days to a new career

09 Feb 2016

Olivia O'Connell

Don’t give up, get hired! Instead of half-heartedly giving up sweets for Lent, here’s a plan to set you up for success come Easter time!

Starting out
1. Set your goals: Get really clear on what you want to happen over the next 40 days. Need a raise? Want to change departments? Fancy a fresh start? Whatever you decide, it’s all up to you!
2. Write it down – Folks in the design industry call it a mood board, we’ll make do with a marker and a post it note! Write it down, stick it to your wall, your phone case, anywhere you can see it frequently (if you’re looking to move companies, it might be best to avoid sticking it to your PC for example)
3. Do your homework! Draw up a Top 10 of target companies and follow them on Linkedin and set up alerts on your favourite job sites to make sure you stay in the know.
4. Feel the fear – and DO IT anyway! Taking a risk can pay dividends if you’re following your heart. It wasn’t your choice? Well, Steve Jobs and Oprah among others were fired from their respective jobs. Time is a great healer and you will hopefully look back upon change as a blessing in disguise!
5. Check out our very own Expert Advice for access to resources from writing a cover letter, to interview skills, and all that falls in between – we’ve got you covered!

At Work
6. Never, ever stop learning. Whether you’re in a classroom or at a conference, use every resource to keep your skills fresh at every opportunity.
7. Feedback – Know where you excel and where you fall short, appraisal season is in full swing so use this to get some constructive criticism and find out what YOU can do to improve and upskill.
8. Healthy body = healthy mind. Upgrade your lunch choices and use your breaks to get out and walk for 10 minutes. It’s a great way to clear your head and set you up with an energy fix tp all afternoon.
9. Your voice counts, so use it. Speak up and share an idea or two during your team meetings.
10. Take the time to mingle at work. Chat with a person in the office that you’ve never spoken to before. You’ll expand your network and who knows what might come of it!
11. Make a difference by pitching a fresh idea for your company. Need some ideas? Bike to work schemes, energy saving printers, a whole new rebrand – Be bold!
12. Looking for more cash? Know your worth and what the market is paying with our annual salary survey. Download it here, for free.

Networking
13. Check the events tab of your industry regulatory body to see what info sessions/seminars are coming up and start to fill your diary with productive dates.
14. With so many great companies in expanding and new companies arriving, there’s never been a better time to bag a great job in an exciting company. Stay positive! Your dream job is out there.
15. Dip your toe in the water with freelancing on the side. It’s a low-risk (and potentially lucrative) way to see if you love the work and the lifestyle enough to make the leap.
16. Network. Like a boss. Here’s how to do it online and in the real world.
17. Speaking of networking, attend at least one event this month and instead of sticking your head in your phone , make it your goal to connect with 3 new people.
18. Always follow up. Email or connect with your new contacts on Linkedin the next day to say how great it was to meet. Bonus points if you can help them in some way!
19. Follow us on social media! We offer blogs, tips and of course jobs to help you in your career search.
20. Showcase your Corporate Citizenship, Daffodil Day takes place March 11th, so purchase a box of daffs and spread some goodwill amongst your colleagues and clients!

Your CV
21. If you haven’t updated your CV since college, here’s a handy CV template to get you started.
22. Be interview ready – know your CV inside out, back to front at all times.
23. Qualify…To prove you’re the best fit for the job, you need to show your capability to the hiring manager. Include strong action words to demonstrate this, such as implemented/reduced/achieved eg: Led product training workshops for new personnel throughout the organisation.
24. …And Quantify, by demonstrating measurability of your skills. eg: Consistently exceeded quarterly sales goals by 20% over the last 3 years and designed and led product knowledge classes for 80 trainees in six different divisions.
25. Thinking about temping? Whatever your reasons, it can often be a stepping stone to your new job. Check out www.brightstar-recruitment.com for current openings.
26. What’s a list without a “What Not To Do” section? Here’s an example of a bad CV so now there’s no excuse!
27. From now on, attach a tailored Cover Letter with all your applications, this sets you aside from the rest and is a chance for you to draw the Hiring Manager’s attention to areas of your career that are particularly relevant. Social Networking
28. What’s your greatest career achievement to date? If you’ve written a blog or spoken at an event, let the world know! Update your LinkedIn profile and add it to your professional gallery. Here’s how.
29. Linkedin Day! Make sure your profile is accurate, up to date and with a professional picture. Ensure your headline and bio use the keywords to get you noticed in your noticed.
30. Twitter Day! Follow some leaders in your industry. That way, whether you check your feed on your morning commute you have access to the latest news in your field.
31. Facebook Day! It mightn’t be fair, but some companies are scanning applicant names to see your social media “footprint”. Tidy up your profile pic and any public posts during the search/offer phase. Do bear in mind that no matter your privacy settings, once it’s published on social media it is potentially out there forever so best to use common sense at all times.

The Home Stretch
32.
 Call us! We’re a talented team of Recruiters with expertise in all areas. Most of us are actually qualified in our field and understand your needs – Call us today or find us on Linkedin and connect!
33. London-based and thinking of coming home? There’s never been a better time. Read more on our blog.
34. Remember your CV? And your networking challenge? Put these to good use by sending your fresh resume to your new contacts!
35. Cast your memory back to day 1 and reinforce your commitment and dedication to SUCCEED.
36. Been made an offer you can’t refuse? Read our counter-offer guide to steer you on the right path!
37. Looking abroad? It can be the best thing you do for your career, not to mention a serious adventure! Investigate Visa requirements if outside the EU and get to know job boards and accommodation websites in your potential market.
38. Submit your CV to us and we’ll take it from there!
39. Don’t burn your bridges – If you’ve secured a new job, here’s how to bow out gracefully.
40. Finished! Reward yourself with a big Easter egg and let us know in the comments how your Lenten career campaign worked out!